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STORMS CONTINUE RELENTLESSLY IN THE WEST

An unrelenting storm brought more rain and snow to Southern California on Friday, while residents in the Sierra Nevada dug out from as much as 8 feet of snow.

More wet weather was expected through the New Year's weekend for most of the state.

Storms this week have battered California, Arizona, Nevada and Colorado. Three to 4 feet of snow have already fallen on Nevada mountains and as much as a foot of snow came down in the mountains of Colorado. At least nine people have died.

In Southern California, heavy rain pounded Santa Barbara, Ventura and Los Angeles counties, with up to an inch of rain an hour in western Los Angeles County.

Snow was falling over the Tejon Pass on Interstate 5, the main artery linking Los Angeles to the Central Valley and Northern California.

Interstate 80 reopened to vehicles with snow chains early Friday, but concern over avalanches closed Highway 50, the main route between Sacramento and South Lake Tahoe.

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